The Local Government Finance and Accounting Support Team (FAST) program was announced in the 2016-17 Victorian government budget. The purpose of the program is to improve the financial sustainability of local governments, particularly in rural and regional Victoria.
The FAST program is delivered by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in three streams.
Stream One – expert financial support
Stream one of the FAST program will provide specialist accounting and finance advice and support to rural councils on a project by project basis. This advisory and support facility will be provided by members of the 'FAST panel', an expert panel of suppliers. It will not be a competitive grant program
but will respond to identified needs.
Stream Two – grants program
Stream two of the FAST program will provide access to grants to allow rural and regional councils to explore shared services and/or collaborative procurement opportunities that will enhance financial sustainability or improve service outcomes.
Funding will be awarded through a competitive process. This stream is not intended to fund implementation of funded proposals but to permit the development of a business case or feasibility study into shared services and/or collaborative procurement including developing key performance measures, formalising
the agreement of participating councils and enabling shared learnings.
Joint proposals from groups of rural and regional councils that meet the funding criteria will be funded up to $75,000 to develop a business case or feasibility study, with the group to match 50 per cent of the funded amount by in kind services or financial contribution. It is expected that projects
will be completed within a 12 month period.
- Funding will support business cases or feasibility studies with the expectation that they will lead to councils investing in project implementation themselves without additional Victorian Government support.
- Proposed business cases or feasibility studies should be fully costed, and include the articulation of expected benefits and measurement criteria to support collaborative efforts.
For details of the funding criteria refer to the following link:
FAST Grants Program Assessment Criteria [PDF File - 22.1 KB]
FAST Grants Program Assessment Criteria [MS Word Document - 14.9 KB]
Applications for Round 1 must be
lodged online via the DELWP GEMS system by 5.00pm on 24 February 2017.
You can register an application here.
You can access a saved application here.
Subject to confidential aspects, councils will be expected to agree to share the learnings or identified better practice outcomes from streams one and two.
Stream Three – research and development
Based upon a combination of the learnings from the other two program streams and analysis and research by Local Government Victoria this stream aims to develop and revise policy in local government finance. The products of this stream will include better practice guidance documents and practice notes
tailored for the whole local government sector.
The suite of better
practice guidance materials is available here.
For further information regarding the program or to discuss a possible proposal please contact:
Daniel O'Shea, Finance and Business Analyst, Local Government Victoria
Email: email@example.comPhone: 03 9948 8531